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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Observability

New Relic Opens up Observability with Quickstarts

At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America, the company introduced a new tool that brings together more than 400 open source observability integrations.
Oct 13th, 2021 6:00am by
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If you want to boost usage of your tools, make them easy. If you want to do so in the cloud native world, you’d best make them open, too.

That’s essentially the twin bet New Relic is making with New Relic Instant Observability (I/O). It’s a menu of more than 400 open source integrations — or “quickstarts,” as the observability company is calling them — for instrumentation, dashboards and alerts elsewhere in your stack.

“Our goal with New Relic I/O is to make getting started with observability easier, and expand beyond what exists today by allowing unique use cases to be solved and then reused by the community,” Marck Robinson, senior vice president of engineering and product general manager at New Relic.

The basic premise of the new open source project, which New Relic announced Wednesday at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America, in Los Angeles, is to package up the kinds of developer integrations that were already possible with the platform and make them turnkey, reusable and open to anyone. To that end, New Relic I/O is available to users of its free tier.

Gathering the Resources in One Place

While New Relic I/O itself may be “new,” Robinson noted, many of the resources you’ll see at launch are not. They were just a lot harder to find and implement.

“We had about 300 integrations before New Relic I/O, and we had all the documents and resources, but they were in disparate places across our platform. It’s a bit like a box of Legos — you can build so many cool things, but it takes an extra time investment to get there,” Robinson said.

“Now we’re bringing them together in one place so engineers and developers can start kicking the tires immediately.”

The New Relic I/O site reads like a roll call of modern software, with a wide range of cloud and cloud native services, programming languages, databases, security tools, operating systems and other components of modern tech stacks.

Featured partners at launch include quickstarts for Fastly CDN, Cribl Logstream, and Lacework’s security platform, among others. You’ll also find a bunch of integrations for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, plus multiple quickstarts for various commercial Kubernetes distributions as well as the raw open source platform.

And that’s actually the tl;dr summary.

That there are already more than 400 different quickstarts speaks to both the richness of the modern technology landscape and its complexity. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation Landscape is both a software pro’s dream shopping spree and the world’s most difficult eyesight test.

“Systems are complicated and growing more so,” Robinson says. “The ability to observe your whole software stack is a critical need for most companies across industries. That means observability needs to cover an expanding set of use cases, with a simple path from zero to value.”

Efficient developers tend to avoid writing or rewriting code to address a need or problem that someone else has already solved, and that principle is alive and well here.

“The experts have already done the hard work,” said Robinson. “We’re making it easy for users to get immediate access to these workflows by making them searchable and able to install in one click. It’s not some mystery they have to dig up. It’s easy, comprehensive and growing all the time.”

A ‘Build Your Own Quickstart’ Feature

New Relic I/O fits nicely with the firm’s “​​commitment to openness, open source, open telemetry and now an open system for making this available to everyone,” said Robinson

It may seem like everyone is saying something along those lines right now — open source is everywhere. (See also: KubeCon.)

In this case, the open nature of New Relic I/O means that what’s most exciting about here is not what you can do with it today but what you might be able to do tomorrow.

It includes a “build your own quickstart” feature, essentially a Github repository (including the requisite README and clear instructions) for meeting your own particular requirements — and then sharing them with everyone else, too.

“It is simple to extend for new use cases and share out for others,” Robinson said.

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